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The Power of Caring with Prudential’s Priscilla Ng

The Mag’s “Power of…” series is a series of interviews that highlight our interviewee’s status as an industry leader. We speak to them about their experience, insight and the “power” of their initiatives in relation to everyday life. In July, we speak to Prudential’s Chief Customer & Marketing Officer, Priscilla Ng, about the power of caring.

You have to treasure every moment so that you can live every day as you want it to be. An important part to doing that is to take care – of yourself, of your loved ones, and of the community, too.

I previously worked in banking for 18 years. But I’ve always wanted to work for a multinational corporation that aligned with my personal beliefs, which is to help and support others. So, after working so many years in a familiar environment, I made the jump and joined Prudential around a year and a half ago.

In making this career change, my personal priority was to adapt my expertise in banking to benefit the insurance world too. Customer service and data analytics is what I knew best. In banking, many products are commoditised. How do we differentiate our product from another? By how well we know, and care about, our customers. And it’s the customer journey design that enables us to provide products that resonate with our consumers.

There’s also a journey when it comes to caring. “Care”, to me, is about “time spent”. I work hard, but I also prioritise time with my family. I won’t leave the office late, so I can have dinner with my husband and nine-year-old daughter. Then we’ll share a bedtime story, or play some board games…it’s a precious time for me. It’s clichéd, but if I can’t take care of my family, I will feel unhappy, which will lead to poor productivity at work. I’m thankful that Hong Kong is an environment where women can be ambitious; people empathise with me as I juggle being a mum, wife, daughter and a working executive.
“We should support each other in order to support other people. ”
There’s something that comes even before taking care of others, which is self-care. That’s the beginning of the journey of caring. It’s very important for us women to take care of ourselves so we can be resilient. After my daughter’s gone to bed, it’s my personal time. I watch TV, I read, I do yoga, I connect with my friends. I relax. If you’re not mentally strong enough, you won’t be able to handle many things at once. I’m grateful for things happening around me – my work, my family, my parents. I’m so proud of everyone.

I oversee the whole marketing department at Prudential: Brand & Communications, Corporate Affairs, Product Management, and Digital Marketing. It’s all down to meeting the needs of our audience, and being client-centric. For this, we use three key principles: Simple, Useful, and Clear. Our messages have to be easy to understand, our products should be relevant to the consumer, and our offerings, clear, to counter consumer scepticism. It’s about sympathy and understanding how we can take care of them. For us, when you care about your client, and they also care about their beloved ones – that’s how the journey of caring continues.

It’s also about adapting to times of need. When we first caught wind of COVID-19 in January, our CEO immediately gathered a special task force: this is a time for us to show our care to the people of Hong Kong. And this meant providing free COVID-19 protection coverage for everyone. To accommodate the “stay at home” lifestyles during the pandemic, we made everything digital. Through our app, clients can access functions such as a symptom checker and updated hospital information. Digitalisation made it convenient for our clients, and enabled us to provide better service, too.
This was a massive project that we had to complete in three weeks’ time; everyone worked day and night. Throughout the project, I reassured my team: “I know this launch is very hard, but imagine how proud you will feel – being part of it, being part of the impact on the whole society.” When you’re proud of your work, you’re motivated to do even better. That’s the thinking I want to inject into the team spirit.

For leaders,
communication with your team is very important, as is transparency. But, most of all, you have to be authentic. Authenticity builds trust. Sometimes when you’re at work, you pretend to be someone else, like a character. But why not just be yourself? People will appreciate it. They will think, OK, you genuinely care about me – I’ll give my best when I’m at work. 

Management should also lead by example. When we responded to the pandemic, it all began with the management mindset that it is our responsibility to care about Hongkongers, even if the return for us was not necessarily profit. There’s a lot of heart in what we do – including other CSR efforts such as a blood drive campaign, which we still ran during COVID-19 to support the Red Cross blood shortage. Though I did question the timing, my team had my full support, because I believe that we should support each other in order to support other people.

Last year, we did something that was incredibly special. We had a staff charity day where we took wedding photos for 30 elderly couples. In a school hall in Tuen Mun, we supplied wedding gowns, and our staff did the photoshoot, hair and make up. It was so meaningful to us, and so touching to see the couples smiling happily for the shoot. It was a long, hot day for our colleagues, but they felt it was so worth it.

And that’s what it’s all about: love and care need action. It’s hard for some people to say “I love you”, so we must put it into action. At the end of the day, it’s all about the basics – back to your family, back to the ones you love. Back to the core of yourself. The environment, the economy, everything may change. The thing that doesn’t change, is the love between you and your family and friends. You’ll always get something in return when you care for others.

Do you work at Taikoo Place and want to be featured in The Power Series? Get in touch.

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